Thirty five years ago, Ronan Farrow got drunk at college, went to a party, and cosied up to a woman he wasn’t married to. How do I know? A woman at the same party thinks she might remember the party, isn’t sure Farrow was there, can’t quite remember what he did (or didn’t) do, but, on the advice of her lawyer and the yellow press, she understands that accusing him now might 1) advance her career and 2) might damage Farrow, whose views she doesn’t like.

In the light of this accusation from someone he never met, Farrow was relieved from his beat poring over other people’s sex lives at The New Yorker, the literary sewer that used to be a magazine. Titters and tongue-clucking all around as the panting masses wait for the next witch to be hauled out, publicly humiliated, and dispensed with. Wot larks.

What actually happened, of course, was that Ronan ‘Sex Police’ Farrow and Jane ‘Dark Money’ Mayer (money is ‘dark’ when spent by Republicans) have dredged up a gibbering account of drunken shenanigans allegedly involving Brett Kavanaugh when he was at Yale Law School in the early 1980s. The gibberer-in-chief is one Deborah Ramirez, who was studying sociology and psychology (natch) at Yale at the same time that Kavanaugh was in law school there.

Hawaii-Five-O Senator Mazie ‘Men Should Just Shut Up’ Hirono pressed autoplay number six and said ‘This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated.’ Another ‘serious, credible, and disturbing allegation,’ Kemo Sabe? Surely you mean ‘another baseless partisan smear against a man of sterling character whose politics you do not like’? That’s what it is all about, isn’t it? Destroy Brett Kavanaugh because 1) we hate Donald Trump and 2) we are terrified that Brett Kavanaugh would hamper the Democrats’ use of the Supreme Court as an instrument of ‘social justice.’ Chirped another factotum from the Democratic echo-chamber ‘These allegations seem credible, and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.’

Let’s take a look at those allegations. The wind up is nice. First, Farrow and Mayer cue the violins. ‘For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices.’ What a brave woman she is! She didn’t want to come forward. She hates publicity. But she (or at least The New Yorker) felt she had to. Just don’t attack her: that would be bullying behaviour, blaming the victim, patriarchal high-handedness, etc. In other words, we’re the ones who get to hurl the mud, not you.

Farrow and Mayer edge into the next phase gently. Ramirez was ‘at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.’ In fact, friends, she was tipsy, by her own admission. ‘“We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated.’

Never mind those ‘gaps,’ though: The New Yorker (along with legal counsel) presumably spent six days coaching her and massaging those recollections. ‘After six days of carefully assessing her memories (assessing her memories, mind you) and consulting with her attorney (Be prepared!), Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections (recollections or fabrications?) to say that (drum roll) she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident (of course she is). ‘I would think an FBI investigation would be warranted,’ she said.’ A quick study, Deborah Ramirez.

Extra credit: Farrow and Mayer report that Ramirez ‘was raised a devout Catholic, in Connecticut (in Connecticut no less!)’ and that she was ‘shaken’ by the experience ‘I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,’ she said. This must be the first time in living memory that The New Yorker has adverted to Catholicism without sneering.

For his part, Kavanaugh categorically denied the incident.‘This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,’ he said. ‘The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name—and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building—against these last-minute allegations.’ Farrow and Mayer manfully tried to come up with some corroborating witnesses. The result was thin gruel. ‘The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party,’ they acknowledge. But hey, let’s run the story anyway. It might help destroy someone we don’t like.

Sandwiched in between Ramirez’s seemingly coached recollections and the skein of innuendo woven by Farrow and Mayer is this sober statement from several people who were close to Kavanaugh at Yale:

We were the people closest to Brett Kavanaugh during his first year at Yale. He was a roommate to some of us, and we spent a great deal of time with him, including in the dorm where this incident allegedly took place. Some of us were also friends with Debbie Ramirez during and after her time at Yale. We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occurred, we would have seen or heard about it—and we did not. The behaviour she describes would be completely out of character for Brett. In addition, some of us knew Debbie long after Yale, and she never described this incident until Brett’s Supreme Court nomination was pending.

Bingo. ‘She never described this incident until Brett’s Supreme Court nomination was pending.’ That’s what it is all about, you see, preventing an eminently qualified jurist from assuming a place on the Supreme Court for grubby partisan reasons. It stinks to high heaven. The Senate Democrats and their literary gauleiters in the gutter press ought to be ashamed of themselves. But shame is not a currency they trade in. Only naked power will do.